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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Novelist Gagged by Judge

The U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, two weeks ago issued a preliminary but indefinite injunction against publishing, distributing, or advertising of an "unauthorized sequel" to J. D. Salinger's Catcher in the Rye titled 60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye. The text of the preliminary injunction against Frederik Colting, writing as John David California, is here.

Everything hinges on whether California's book is deemed a parody. If so, it can go ahead. If not, it goes to the shredder. Seems like an odd task for a judge or jury.

Thus another demonstration that so-called intellectual property requires the suppression of freedom. Despite our proclaimed belief in freedom and the First Amendment, as things now stand you may not publish a novel about someone who seems to be the Holden Caulfield from Catcher in the Rye. (The name does not appear in California's book.) Why? Because Salinger claims to "own" Holden Caulfield. Whatever the heck that means.

1 comment:

Doc said...

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